Canadian High School Clocks A Decade Of Coaching CrossFit Classes

Feb 5, 2020 by

Last week, we brought you a story about all 25 members of the PE staff at Glenbrook South High School completing their Level-1 Certification together in a brand-new facility. We’ve been overwhelmed with responses about equally exciting initiatives in schools across the globe including efforts in Canada.

A standout example is Brian Dickie, a PE teacher and coach, at Carleton Place High who has been running his CrossFit program for high schoolers for the past decade.

CrossFit CPHS affiliated in 2010, but the truth is they’d been using the CrossFit methodology in their school-based strength and conditioning program since 2004. 

  • Brian Dickie said “It was a game-changer! Even though the program was very popular in our high school, the number of students wishing to take the course exploded with the change in the structure of programming and equipment.”
  • FUN FACT: As of the summer of 2019, there were only 804 10-year affiliates in the world.

Mr. Dickie sought out any CrossFit related education he could find, which at the time wasn’t easy living in Canada.

  • After completing his L-1 Certification, Dickie, “pitched [the] idea for a school credit CrossFit course combined with a non-profit community program before and after school — they were hyper-supportive!”
Photo courtesy of Brian Dickey

Fast forward 10 years, CrossFit CPHS still offers a program that’s completely free; 1500 students have gained high school credit through the CrossFit course, not bad for a small box, just 1100 square feet!

  • Drop-Ins have included Four-Time World’s Strongest Man, Mangus ver Magnusson, Paul Tremblay and Pete Shaw.
  • CrossFit Seminar Staff have also popped in over the years for inspiration and to fortify other school programs internationally.
  • “In Canada, there is little funding for athletic programs in schools, so we have to work creatively to find the money for equipment … We are proud of what we have accomplished with the lack of corporate support,” Mr. Dickie said.
Photo courtesy of Brian Dickey

While Mr. Dickie will retire later this year after 35 years as a PE teacher, he’s vowed to continue running the not-for-profit program “until I hit the pine box.”


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